My Dear Family,
Do you approach the new calendar year with hope—or with fear? Will this year be better for you than last—or worse? Will it be a year of health and wealth—or of illness and want? A new year offers a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the new – to set goals and look forward with hope.
The first few months after assuming the pastorship of this parish I was consumed with addressing the fiscal and maintenance issues. This was followed by preparing for the Advent & Christmas season leaving minimal time to address the ministerial needs of you – my family. While the challenges have been many, I was spiritually renewed and overjoyed with the liturgical celebrations we shared during Advent & Christmas. So for me, the January has been a time of stepping back and reflecting on the many ministerial and spiritual areas I wish to foster. I share with you some of the steps I have already taken.
The youth of our parish are a priority for me. Now is the time! I have appointed Linda & and Steve Rhoads as the Coordinators of Youth Ministry for the parish. Linda & Steve Rhoads are a great couple who have experience ministering to youth. Both served as Youth Ministers at St. Barnabas.
Integrating lay people in the planning and support of our many parish ministries is another priority of mine. Serving the people of the parish is not the purview of priests, religious and deacons. God speaks to each of us - we just have to make the time to listen. Thus I have appointed three Pastoral Associates to assist me as follows:
- Sal Spano – will coordinate music and liturgy
- Anne Bantleon – will coordinate Stewardship and service ministries
- Maryanne Rietschlin – will coordinate Adult faith formation
- Rosann Kelly – will coordinate communications, web, and administrative issues
I am grateful that these talented people have graciously accepted my call to serve. I hope you will join me in welcoming them and supporting them in their respective roles.
As you know, Fr. Xavier has assumed his new position as chaplain at St. Catherine. Fr. Xavier was very touched by the reception last week-end and grateful for you kindness.
God Bless You –